Top 3 Wide Receiver Targets for the Bears in Free Agency

Who Will Replace Allen Robinson?

The Chicago Bears 2020 season was overall a disappointment. Sure they made the playoffs, but that was mostly because of the lack of good teams in the NFC. They were an average team who finished with only 8 wins on the season but that was just enough to be one and done in the playoffs.

There were some bright spots for the Bears last year. Running back David Montgomery had a breakout season and created much optimism about his future output for the team. The other big positive was their defense, who were ranked top ten in the NFL despite being disadvantaged by their own offensive.

In particular, it was the passing game that was the real problem in Chicago last year. Lead by Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles, who split time as the starting quarterback, the Bears finished the season as the 26th ranked total offense. This includes being ranked in the bottom 10 in both passing as well as scoring.

Things could get even worse if their star wide receiver Allen Robinson leaves via free agency. The Bears need to do everything necessary to keep him on the team after his huge season with 102 receptions and 1250 yards with 6 touchdowns. In addition to Robinson, they also got a promising rookie season out of Darnell Mooney who went for 21 receptions and 631 yards with 4 touchdowns.

Robinson and Mooney are a great start to the receiving corps but they need more than that. If they lose Robinson, they will be absolutely desperate for help at the position. Even if they keep him, they would still be wise to add another top receiver to the team to try and improve the passing game. Let’s take a look at the top 3 options that they could pursue this offseason.

Chris Godwin

At only 24 years old, Godwin is a four year player out of Penn State University and has been a key contributor to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense for the past three seasons. After a decent rookie campaign where he accumulated 34 receptions for 525 yards and a touchdown, he really broke out in his second season and never looked back.

Over the past three seasons, Godwin is averaging 5 receptions for 72 yards per game with 23 touchdowns across 42 games played. This is an extremely productive output for anyone but even more impressive considering he plays in an offense that also includes another star wide receiver in Mike Evans.

He is a big-bodied receiver with great hands and good speed, giving him great versatility. He is equally as effective from the slot as he is lining up on the outside. Godwin is strong enough to make contested catches in traffic and fast enough to blow by defenders as well which is demonstrated by his careerΒ 14.5 yards per reception.

The fact that the youngster has all of the tools needed to be a superstar and already has the stats to go with it, Chris Godwin is going to be a hot target this offseason. If the Bears get an opportunity to land him, they should do it immediately.

JuJu Smith-Schuster

This may come as a surprise, because it feels like he has been a staple with the Steelers for a long time now, but JuJu is still only 24 years old. The four year pro out of USC has been very impressive to this point in his career and is showing no signs of slowing down after putting up huge numbers in the 2020 season in a loaded receiver group that also included Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool.

JuJu has been a favorite target of Big Ben in Pittsburgh as demonstrated by his consistent output. His current per season averages are 77 receptions for 931.5 yards and 6.5 touchdowns. Highly productive to say the least, and even more so when considering the abundance of offensive weapons that he has competed with for target shares.

Big Ben would love to have JuJu back for the 2021 campaign, but there just may not be enough cap room for the Steelers to keep him. He is one of many key players that they need to make decisions on. This paired with the fact that they already have solid depth at the wide receiver position may be the reason JuJu is playing for a different team next year.

At 6’1 and 215 pounds, JuJu is a big target with enough speed to be a big play threat. He does a lot of his work deep down the field, which should be very appealing to a Bears team that struggled to produce big plays in their offense. He can stretch the field for Chicago, and because of this he seems to be a perfect fit for what they are missing.

Kenny Golladay

Still in the prime of his career at 27 years old, the 4 year veteran is set to become a free agent for the first time in his career. Golladay has been one of the few bright spots for a Detroit Lions team that has not been very good in his time there. The team is currently in the middle of a rebuild, so now may be the time for the vet to move on.

The 2020 season was unfortunately one that was plagued by injuries for Golladay. On the positive side, the year before that in 2019, he actually lead the entire NFL in receiving touchdowns with 11. In fact, in the 2 year span between 2018 and 2019 he put up some extremely impressive numbers all around.

Over that 2 year time period he combined for 135 receptions for 2253 yards and 16 touchdowns. That is as good as just about any other wide receiver over that same span. What makes it even more impressive is that he did it for a bad team with not much talent around him. The defense was able to double team him often, but that did not stop him at all.

This is the kind of production that the Bears could really use in their passing attack, especially if they are able to hang on to Allen Robinson as well. If that is the case, it would force opposing defenses to single cover at least one of them, which is a luxury that neither of them have had much of in their careers to this point. This would be a lethal combination at the position, and a situation that the Bears should seriously consider.

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